May 21: 16 Iyar
Have you ever come to the place in your life where you just feel like giving up? Whatever the situation is, whether professional, relational or financial, you feel that the situation is hopeless and that nobody cares. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way when it comes to the ministry. I’ve probably quit the ministry 100 times, at least, only to hear my wife say, “If you quit, you’ll be miserable.” Truth is, she’s right. If I were to quit, I’d be giving to the enemy and potentially negating what God wanted to do in my life and through my life. We understand that perseverance is a virtue and is not acquired easily but comes at great expense. We also understand that perseverance is a quality that, if we pursue it and hold onto it, great reward follows. Messiah addressed this issue with the congregation of Philadelphia.
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” (Revelation 3:10-12)
As God’s people, you and I are given a mandate to persevere; we are expected to press toward the mark of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:14). Perseverance is a quality that we must possess, if we are going to overcome. I have a reminder of this principle hanging on the wall of my office. It is a picture that depicts the siege of the Alamo, and at the bottom of the picture are the words, “Never surrender.” Regardless of what your politics about that particular event may be, the point is that there were men willing to die for what they believed in. One of those men was a young lay minister from Kentucky who died along side of men like David Crockett – his name was Daniel William Cloud. Before he died, Daniel Cloud wrote to his family and said:
“If we fail, death in the cause of liberty and humanity is not cause for shuddering.”
If men such as this could muster enough perseverance, commitment and courage to fight and die for a piece of ground in Texas, how much more should you and I as followers of the Messiah commit ourselves to persevere for the will of our Master and Creator? As I said, perseverance is a hard virtue to acquire, but it’s well worth it. We should never surrender to anything that would undermine what He wants to do in our lives. The only thing that we should surrender to is His will.